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The Feynman Technique

As noted here and further elaborated on here, the Feynman technique, or what I'll start calling CLAM, is the following practice when trying to learn something:

  1. Concept: The first step is to choose the concept you want to understand. Take a blank piece of paper and write the name of that concept at the top of the page.
  2. Lesson: Pretend you're teaching the idea to a new student. Write out an explanation, as if you were teaching it to someone who didn't understand the subject. This is crucial because in explaining to yourself the ideas you already understand, as well as the ones you don't, you gain a better understanding and pinpoint exactly the details you don't understand.
  3. Addled: Whenever you get stuck, go back to the reference materials, lectures or a teacher assistant and re-read or re-learn the material until you do get it enough that you can explain it on the paper.
  4. Metaphor: Simplify and create analogies or metaphors. Wherever you create a wordy or confusing explanation, try to either simplify the language, or create an analogy to understand it better.